Buzzfeed: Ukraine Paid Right Wing Bloggers to Post Talking Points

Autocratic payola
Wingnuts • Views: 19,950

If you noticed quite a few right wing blogs and media sites that seemed to be rather, uh, uncritical of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in the past few weeks, it’s not necessarily because they were really that sympathetic to the kleptocratic ruler.

They might have been getting paid: Exclusive: How Ukraine Wooed Conservative Websites.

WASHINGTON — Several conservative bloggers repeated talking points given to them by a proxy group for the Ukrainian government — and at least one writer was paid by a representative of the Ukrainian group, according to documents and emails obtained by BuzzFeed.

The Ukrainian campaign began in the run-up to high-stakes Ukrainian parliamentary elections last year, and sought to convince skeptical American conservatives that the pro-Russian Party of Regions, led by President Viktor Yanukovych, deserved American support. During that period, articles echoing Ukrainian government talking points appeared on leading conservative online outlets, including RedState, Breitbart, and Pajamas Media.

The emails and documents, which include prepackaged quotes from election officials and talking points that some writers copied nearly word-for-word, offer a glimpse into how foreign governments dodge tight Justice Department regulations on foreign propaganda to covertly lobby in the United States: The payments were routed through a front group in Belgium to an American consultant, who has urged writers not to cooperate with a reporter investigating the campaign.

Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray identifies some of the people involved in this 2013 propaganda campaign:

One of the writers who participated in the campaign, who spoke on the condition of anonymity and because of lingering qualms about the arrangement, they said, described being offered $500 for a blog post praising Ukraine’s ruling Party of Regions. The payment was arranged by George Scoville, a libertarian media strategist, and Scoville’s name was on the check, the source said.

[…]

Other writers who were producing incongruous pro-Party of Regions stories at the time include Ben Shapiro of Breitbart and Seton Motley, a conservative blogger.

One of Shapiro’s Ukraine posts, “Hillary Sides With Anti-Semitic Ukrainian Opposition,” is nearly identical to a post that appeared four days later in a different publication under [Warner Todd] Huston’s byline: “Clinton Dept. of State Backing the Anti-Semitism Party in Ukraine?

Shapiro said he hadn’t been paid by anyone other than his employers to do the posts. Scoville “was not the one pitching me as far as I recall,” Shapiro said.

Motley wrote a post for Human Events about Ukraine’s gas dealings with Russia on October 15, and one for Pajamas Media on October 5 titled “Ukraine is Leading West — Not Bowing East” that cites most of the statistics about Ukraine’s economy contained in the talking points provided by Scoville.

Read the whole sordid story.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Bruce Springsteen - Sleepy Joe’s Café (Lyrics)"Sleepy Joe's Café" track five on Springsteen's nineteenth studio album Western Stars
Thanos
10 hours, 25 minutes ago
Views: 107 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Regina Spektor - ‘Blue Lips’ (Live at WFUV)wfuv.org • Follow @wfuv: ow.ly Regina Spektor performs "Blue Lips" live in Studio A. Recorded 5/22/19. Host: Alisa AliAudio: Jim O'HaraCameras: Kay Kurkierwicz and Thomas KoenigEditor: Thomas Koenig
Thanos
10 hours, 27 minutes ago
Views: 108 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Outta My Head — Pomplamoose / Khalid Come see Nataly preform with Inara at Largo on June 18: bit.ly Save this song on Spotify: spoti.fiBecome a patron of our music (to vote on the songs we cover and get merch and stuff like that): patreon.com A ...
Thanos
1 day, 13 hours ago
Views: 148 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Raconteurs - ‘Bored and Razed’ (Lyric Video) Lyric video for The Raconteurs “Bored and Razed" from their forthcoming album HELP US STRANGER – out June 21st. Listen to "Bored and Razed" here: theraconteurs.lnk.to Pre-order & pre-save the upcoming album HELP US STRANGER here: theraconteurs.lnk.to HELP US ...
Thanos
1 day, 19 hours ago
Views: 160 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
SERGIO MENDES & BRASIL’66 - the LOOK of LOVEComposed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and sung by Dusty Springfield, which appeared in the 1967 James Bond film Casino Royale.
Thanos
3 days, 20 hours ago
Views: 214 • Comments: 3 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Jeremy HuntWhen his name was mispronounced live on the BBC one morning we all had a good giggle, that first time, and then it takes a while to become funny again but we have done it: metro.co.uk
Dom
5 days, 21 hours ago
Views: 378 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Los Coast - ‘The Morning Weight’ [Live]The new album Samsara is available June 14: geni.us
Thanos
1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 661 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Suppressing the Press in Australia Dept: Police Launch Second Raid on the Media in 24 Hours The ABC's headquarters in Ultimo have been raided by federal police, with the broadcaster's manager describing it as a "worry" for press freedom. It's the second federal police raid on journalists in 24 hours, officers spending seven hours yesterday ...
Thanos
1 week, 4 days ago
Views: 638 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 4 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
An Ode to the ColonAnd paean sounded too renal-ish. Ok, maybe more homage. We take our bodies for granted - oh yes we do. All of us. All the things they do and are supposed to do. All the systems and subsystems, pieces, parts, ...
DangerMan
1 week, 4 days ago
Views: 537 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 7
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Video Killed the Radio Star - Walk Off the Earth Ft. Sarah Silverman Stream or Download this song here: walkofftheearthent.lnk.toCatch WOTE live! CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS: goo.glSubscribe to WOTE here! bit.lyWatch and listen to our Greatest Hits!: bit.lyWOTE merch available here: walkofftheearth.myshopify.com Walk off the Earth hooked up with the amazing Sarah ...
Thanos
1 week, 5 days ago
Views: 728 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0